homeownership and Black Panthers

Maoist Internationalist Movement mim3 at nyxfer.blythe.org
Sun Sep 17 12:44:52 MDT 1995

On Fri, 15 Sep 1995, jones/bhandari wrote:

> 1. The US Census data shows how difficult it is to differentiate the
> 'races' by home ownership. More than thirty percent of 'white' households
> don't own their domicile, and almost  50 percent of Black households do.
> The great racial divide seems not be established here. Of course 30 percent
> of the white population is many times in absolute size half the Black
> population, so it seems by MIM's own standards they now have a sufficiently
> sizable group of settlers who could be potentially revolutionary.

MIM replies: The gap between Blacks and whites in homeownership and
equity is large enough to remind one how whites have no proletariat.
However, our argument does not stem from a relative comparison.
We fully believe there is also a Black labor aristocracy, just not
as obvious as the white one.

The comparison of two groups within the imperialist beast cannot
determine anything about the transfer of surplus labor from outside
imperialism's own borders into the United Snakes and other imperialist
societies. The fact that more than half the white work force can
sit around in office work, shuffle paper and work tepidly toward
technical and scientific progress is all an indication that they
can survive on the necessities of life provided by Third World
proletarians repressed by U.S.-backed military regimes. Meanwhile,
various Protestants impressed with their own work ethic and all
revisionists of Marxism who uphold a vision of class/nation-neutral,
property-less technical advance believe they "made it themselves" and
deserve their own living standard from their own individual
achievements. They forgot that Marx said people are the greatest
productive force and that technical advance never occurs outside
a class structure, in this case a system of class relations
involving superexploitation. (That's to agree with Condit on class
as not just a thing, but to agree in a way that Condit did not

As for that 30 percent, it is young people who expect not as a matter
of ideology, but reality, that they will own houses some day.
It is also the elderly who can't take it with them and some
scattered yuppies who like to move around a lot and live the high
life. The percentage of whites that is hard-core renters again
is not sufficient to form a class.

> 5. MIM points to the Black Panther Party.  Its isolation and defeat--in the
> absence of mass-based class conscious action--seems not have to taught MIM
> anything.  But perhaps they are preparing again this sort of suicidal

MIM replies: This is more idealism. First they blame
the Black Panther Party's relative lack of support from white workers
as the Black Panther's fault instead of the labor aristocracy's fault.
Notice which of us has a materialist theory that explains that fact.

Second they talk about the BPP defeat when there has been no greater success
in communist movements this century in imperialist North America.
The Communist Party reached its height, not right after 1917, but
later in the Stalin era. It went down the tubes in the post-Stalin
period, contrary to those who constantly tell us to water down our politics.
Even at its height, the CPUSA never accomplished the breadth of support
that the Black Panthers had. Nonetheless we are proud of both and
point to them against the Trotskyists and social-democrats who
have their differing view of success.

Pat for MIM

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